TODAY | October 04, 2012
>>> romney is winning strong reviews for his performance in last night's presidential debate . nbc's andrea mitchell was in denver for the faceoff and joining us now for fact checking. good morning.
>> reporter: good morning to you, natalie. from a very cold denver , the two men tangoed for 90 minutes . and they even argued over big bird . mitt romney cited public broadcasting as one program he'd cut. even though the debate was moderated by pbs .
>> i like big bird , i like you too. but i'm not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from china to pay for it.
>> big bird and pbs 's parent gets only .01% of the federal budget . the president said he'd cut the budget by $4 trillion.
>> i put forward a $4 trillion deficit reduction plan.
>> reporter: he's counting money saved by letting the bush tax cuts expire for people making more than $250,000 a year. he's also counting $1 trillion in savings by drawing down the wars in iraq and afghanistan. nonpartisan budget experts call that a gimmick because those wars were deficit financed in the first place. mitt romney denied president obama 's claim that his tax cuts would cost $5 trillion.
>> i'm not in favor of a $5 trillion tax cut , that's not my plan. my plan is not to put in place any tax cut that will add to the deficit.
>> romney has proposed making the bush tax cuts permanent for everyone and then cutting all rates an additional 20%. he would also repeal the alternative minimum tax and permanently repeal the estate tax . the nonpartisan tax policy center concluded romney 's tax plan would cost $4.8 trillion over ten years. romney said his plan would be paid for by closing loopholes and getting rid of deductions. but again, he refused to be specific. and because of the romney comments about pbs , big bird was trending on twitter wednesday night with 17,000 tweets per minute on the plight of big bird .
>> all right. andrea mitchell in denver after a long night there, great job last night, andrea. thank you.